Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snogasm Part 2,3,and 4

I was in a very lonely place after the less than impressive fling with Dig and I was left yearning for some dirty hop play.  Last year I was able to wean myself off of Dig with Deschutes Red Chair.  Could Red Chair fill the void Dig couldn’t fill this year?  The short answer, no.  Red Chair started with the signature biscuit malt character up front which is supposed to lead you into wonderful hop character.  The wonderful hop character I so passionately remembered seemed very flat this year.  The bright citrus notes just weren’t there.  What is going on?  Where has all the hop flavor gone?

What could comfort me in my time of hoppy need?  I gathered up my broken heart and decided to take a chance.  There was a brew that was getting stellar reviews but I was worried that it had spent too much time on the shelf.  Could its hoppy goodness stand the test of time?  I made the leap of faith and snagged a sixer of Schlafly Tasmanian IPA and I finally found a worthy crush.  The aroma on this brew is big and citrusy.  It reminded of something familiar, what is it?  Orange juice?  Interesting.  Up front there is some simple malt sweetness that leads you into wonderful full mouth bitterness.  Just as the nose suggested the hop character erupts into mandarin orange and citrus flavors.  This exotic brew is just what the Dr ordered for my broken hop lovin’ heart. 

Although the Tasmanian IPA briefly quenched my thirst for hop love it wasn’t something I could see myself in a semi-long term relationship.  What could fill my deepest hoppy-est desires?  How about some sucks?  Wait, wait, that sounded a little dirty.  I meant Lagunitas Sucks.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Three six packs later and this brew has filled my hop-relationship needs for 2013.  Sucks pours a surprisingly pale orange but explodes out of the glass with citrus/grapefruit aroma.  The first thing I noticed is the somewhat thin mouthfeel, more on this shortly.  The taste starts with a brief sweetness and then you are swept into hop bliss.  The bright crisp grapefruit notes are complemented by a slightly flora background.  The beginning sweetness and finishing bitterness blend beautifully creating perfect harmony.  I think the key to the success of this brew is how the thinner mouthfeel provides the perfect background to highlight the bright citrus character of the hops.  Another dangerous facet to Sucks' arsenal is how the thin mouthfeel lends to an incredibly dangerous drinkability.  Yes sir may I have 4 more please?  Sucks has done it!  You are FatCat's love affair for 2013.  When past flings failed to excite, you were the one that brought the magic back to the bedroom..hmmm...I mean the Spiegelau glass.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snowgasm Part 1: Dig

Last year I was involved in a torrid love affair craft brewstyle.  I was caught by surprise and subsequently blown away by a beautiful pale ale called Dig.  Never before had I had such an exotic blend of mango, lemons, malt, and earth.  It was a magical time in my life but like all good things it had to come to an end.  A year later and I yearn for the good ole times of yesteryear.  It was only a matter of time before my love and I would be reunited for our seasonal fling.  I anxiously awaited Dig’s arrival and was finally rewarded.  This year Dig was even available in 12 packs!  Please give us some alone time.

OK we’re back.  Dig how I have missed you…but you have changed sweetie.  You are not the one I remember so fondly last year.  Your big bright exotic flair is gone.  What the heck happened?  Freshness should not be an issue because I purchased it as soon as it hit the shelves.  However, the taste completely lacked the uniqueness of last year.  What a disappointment.  My love affair had been reduced to a juvenile romp in the back of a Buick. 

The Dig looked seductive enough in the glass but once my nose ventured into the aroma zone it was clear Dig was not the same.  The nose had a grassy-grainy aroma with just a slight tinge of lemon.  The taste starts off with dry grain character and then…not much.  The hop character is completely flat from what I remember from last year.  In place of big exotic hop flavor is some dull grassy character and maybe a slight nuance of lemon.  My love what has happened to you?  A moderate bitterness on the finish is the finale to this ultimate disappointment of the year.

Well I guess it’s time to move on in an attempt to find another exotic fling.  Maybe I could revisit my other special lady friend from last year, Red Chair.  Would this quench my thirst for hoppy passion?  Stay tuned to this multi-part series of my trials and tribulations to my 2013 craft beer love life.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Call to Action!

I poached the article below straight from:

The American Homebrewers Association has issued an action alert that impacts Kansas homebrewers.

On Friday, February 8, 2013, House Bill 2223, a bill created to allow Kansas homebrewers to legally share homebrew at club meetings and enter homebrew competitions, will be introduced to the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

As many of you already know, Kansas is a bit ass-backwards (to put it nicely) when it comes to its liquor laws. If you’re like me and have wondered how you can help make things better, then this is your chance to have your voice heard. To help, contact the Committee members that will be reviewing this bill. Steve Cook, the President of the KC Bier Meisters homebrew club, put together a list of committee members and their e-mail addresses, which I’ve included below, along with some tips that Steve has outlined.

If you send an e-mail:

1.Do not send from a government e-mail address (, for example).

2.Be polite, asking them to support the “Home Brew Bill” because you want to legally transport your home brew to share with others at club meetings and at competitions.

3.Keep it short. 2 or 3 lines is all you need.

4.Be sure to have a personalized salutation to each legislator. Do not send a mass mailing to all the members at once. If it is personalized, it will have more of an impact. Thank them at the end of the email for their public service. They work for peanuts and spend much time on our behalf.

List of Committee members:

•Arlen H. Siegfreid, R-121st (Chair)
•Steven R. Brunk, R-85th (Vice Chair)
•Rob Bruchman, R-20th
•Larry Campbell, R-26th
•J. R. Claeys, R-69th
•Susan L. Concannon, R-107th
•Ken Corbet, R-54th
•Travis Couture-Lovelady, R-110th
•Willie Dove, R-38th
•Shanti Gandhi, R-52nd
•Brett Hildabrand, R-17th
•Michael Houser, R-1st
•Robert (Bob) Montgomery, R-15th
•Reid Petty, R-125th
•Marty Read, R-4th
•Allan Rothlisberg, R-65th
•Troy L. Waymaster, R-109th
•Louis E. Ruiz, D-31st (Ranking Member)
•Broderick Henderson, D-35th
•Emily Perry, D-24th
•Michael J. Peterson, D-32nd
•Annie Tietze, D-53rd
•Ponka-We Victors, D-103rd


Per the recommendation of a friend, I’ve included an example of the language that you can use when sending the e-mail. Copy and paste this as the body of your e-mail, or tweak it how you see fit.

Dear < > ,

My name is < >, and I’m writing today to encourage you to support House Bill 2223, which authorizes the production and transportation of homemade fermented beverages. As a homebrewer who resides in Kansas, I feel it is important to update current Kansas Statutes to allow me to share my homemade beer with friends, fellow homebrew club members, and enter it into competitions.

Thank you for your time and your service to residents in the state of Kansas.